CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney that has represented the families of victims in high-profile cases such as that of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, is now representing the family of Jamal Sutherland.

Sutherland died in January while at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center after deputies forcibly extracted him from his cell, tasing and pepper-spraying him in the process.


Crump said that he decided to accept the case because of the greater impact he expects it to have on society. He is hoping to bring to light the implicit bias he says plagues justice systems in America:

“We cannot deny we have two justice systems in America. One for white America, and then another for the rest of us.”

Crump said that in his eyes, justice for Sutherland is “the same exact thing as it would be… for a young white man in the same situation.” He said that they aren’t asking for anything more, but they “certainly won’t stand for anything less.”

While he understands that he cannot force any changes, Crump said that he is pursuing the case because it is the right thing to do.

“It is the right thing to do to stand up for Jamal Sutherland. It is the right thing to do to speak up for Jamal Sutherland. And it is the right thing to do to fight for Jamal Sutherland.”

Sutherland’s mother, Amy Sutherland, also spoke about the impact that her sons death has had.

“They took his life, so for the rest of my life I am going to fight until someone is punished for my son’s death.”